The notion of free-grace may make persons dissolute, but a sense of it restrains from sin.
The goodness of God respects our emptiness, the grace of God our sinfulness, and the mercy of God our unworthiness. What sin is there which grace cannot pardon? What heart if there that grace cannot soften? What soul is there that grace cannot save?
All grace flows from Christ united to the soul, as all life flows from the soul united to the body.
the more God’s justice was declared toward His Son, the more was His mercy towards the sinner.
God humbled His Son to exalt His Grace. John Mason in Apples of Gold.
PRAISE AND PRAYER
“Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion; and unto Thee shall the vow be performed. O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.”– Psa_65:1-2.
WHAT RAPTURES there is here! It reminds one of a lark at dawn filling regions of air with music which threatens to rend its tiny throat. The Psalmist is in fellowship with God. He is enjoying his prayer and praise so much that it seemed to him as though all flesh must wake up to enjoy it also. His iniquities and transgressions are purged away. He feels that God is causing him to approach into His secret place, and all nature takes on a new radiance and beauty.
The personal pronouns for God–Thou, Thee, Thy, occur at least twenty times in thirteen verses! We remember that Wordsworth speaks of a Presence that rolls through all things: “A sense sublime of something deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean, and the living air, and the blue sky–a motion and a spirit.” The poet was a lover of the meadows, and the woods, and mountains!
To many of us, also, Nature seems but the slight covering or garment, which only partially, conceals the glory and beauty of God’s Presence. The bush still burns with fire. The mountain-heights are filled with the horses and chariots of angelic guardians. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.” There is no voice or language that the ordinary sense of man can detect, but when our hearts are clean, and our ears open, we realize that we are in touch with Him whom some day we shall see face to face, but who even now reveals Himself to the pure in heart (Mat_5:8).
O God our Heavenly Father, renew in us the sense of Thy gracious Presence, and let it be a constant impulse within us to peace, trustfulness, and courage on our pilgrimage. AMEN.
John André was a British Army officer hanged as a spy by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War for assisting Benedict Arnold’s attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York to the British. This poem of God’s Amazing Grace was found in the breast pocket of Brother Andre at his death.
Gen. 3:15; Deut. .7;7; John 1: 1ff; 8:36; Exodus 33:7-23
Hail sovereign love which first began
This scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail sovereign, free, eternal grace
Which gave my soul a hiding place!
Gen. 1:14ff; Rom. 3:24; Job 38:1-7; Acts 6:8 ff
Against the God Who ruled the sky
I fought with hand uplifted high;
Despised the mention of His grace
Too proud to seek a hiding place!
Eph.5:8; 1 Pet.29
Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place.
1 Jn. 4:10, 19; eph 2:4-8
But thus the Eternal counsel ran:
Almighty love, arrest that man!
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found no hiding place.
John 1:17; Gal. 2:21; 4:21-26
Indignant Justice stood in view,
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew!
But Justice cried with frowning face,
“This mountain is no hiding place!”
John 6:44; Acts 9:5, 15
‘Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And mercy’s angel soon appeared,
He led me on with gentle pace
To Jesus as my hiding place!
James 4:14; Jn. 16:33; Rom. 8:35
Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake this earth from pole to pole;
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face
With Jesus as my hiding place!
Rev. 10:6; Rev. 5:11; 1 John 3:2
A few more rolling suns at most,
Shall land me safe on Canaan’s coast.
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious hiding place!.”
God’s people need lifting up. They are very heavy by nature. They have no wings, or, if they have, they are like the dove of old which lay among the pots; and they need divine grace to make them mount on wings covered with silver, and with feathers of yellow gold. By nature sparks fly upward, but the sinful souls of men fall downward. O Lord, “lift them up forever!”
David himself said, “Unto Thee, O God, do I lift up my soul,” and he here feels the necessity that other men’s souls should be lifted up as well as his own. When you ask this blessing for yourself, forget not to seek it for others also. There are three ways in which God’s people require to be lifted up. They require to be elevated in character. Lift them up, O Lord; do not suffer Thy people to be like the world’s people! The world lieth in the wicked one; lift them out of it! The world’s people are looking after silver and gold, seeking their own pleasures, and the gratification of their lusts; but, Lord, lift Thy people up above all this; keep them from being “muckrakers,” as John Bunyan calls the man who was always scraping after gold! Set thou their hearts upon their risen Lord and the heavenly heritage! Moreover, believers need to be prospered in conflict. In the battle, if they seem to fall,
O Lord, be pleased to give them the victory. If the foot of the foe be upon their necks for a moment, help them to grasp the sword of the Spirit, and eventually to win the battle. Lord, lift up Thy children’s spirits in the day of conflict; let them not sit in the dust, mourning for ever. Suffer not the adversary to vex them sore, and make them fret; but if they have been, like Hannah, persecuted, let them sing of the mercy of a delivering God.
We may also ask our Lord to lift them up at the last! Lift them up by taking them home, lift their bodies from the tomb, and raise their souls to Thine eternal kingdom in glory.
Charles Spurgeon – The “Prince of Preachers”